Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Insausti makes move to "best amateur team"

Jon Ander Insausti, the 19-year-old Basque phenomenon tipped for future greatness, will leave Bidelan-Kirolgi in favour of Caja Rural's amateur outfit in time for the 2013 season, hoping to further his dream of turning pro in 2014.

The versatile former Seguros Bilbao rider, equally adept in the mud as on the tarmac, announced as much on his Facebook account Monday afternoon, saying it was a "very difficult decision to reach", but that is was his best option. In an emotional message to his friends and team-mates, he thanked everything and everyone for their support. Speaking to Basque Cycling News, Ion and Gorka Izagirre's cousin reiterated it's tough leaving behind his "family".

"Yes, it's hard. It was like a family - everyone there made it an incredible family. We always worked for each other in the races and helped each other out. It's been an amazing year", he said.

Insausti joined the team directed by former pro and Euskaltel sports director Jon Odriozola ahead of the 2012 season, having spent his first year in the amateur category with Seguros Bilbao. He racked up a bunch of victories in the season that just concluded, among them two Torneo Lehendakari races, a stage at the Vuelta a Segovia, the Euskadi sub-23 time trial champs and the Gipuzkoan crono crown. Naturally he harboured hopes of joining the pro ranks this year, but as that didn't materialize, Caja Rural was the next logical step.

"For the moment, Caja Rural is the best amateur team in Spain", he said. "They have the best calendar of races, the best material, the best riders... They're the best. No other team can offer me what they are. And as well they have a professional team, which you can ride for if you perform throughout the season. As with every rider, turning professional is my dream!"

The affable youngster reiterates his goal for next year is to turn pro, but readily admits it'll be "very, very difficult".

"I'll work hard to make it. But if it doesn't happen next year, I'll still continue to try. My aim is also to become a rider capable of winning the biggest races, a rider the others can have confidence in. Of course, I also want to progress next year.

"As for the riders at Caja Rural, I know most of them already. I don't know all the first-year riders, but the rest I do. I have very good friends at that team: Ramón Domene, Jesús Alberto Rubio, Ibai Salas, Fernando Grijalba and others. I think we'll make a great team!"

Photo: Seguros Bilbao

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